Korea MOTIE running tenders for hydrogen bus infrastructure

MOTIE | Hydrogen Bus Charging Station Demonstration

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) of Korea is preparing to build the infrastructure for the operation of hydrogen buses through a tender, which will procure five hydrogen extracting facilities.

The Ministry posted a statement saying it is to build five small-scale hydrogen extracting facilities investing a total of KRW 25 billion, KRW 5 billion each. The Ministry has granted KRW 15 billion of support money back in 2019.

The statement explained that the latest aid is a part of the government’s ‘Hydrogen Economy Vitalization Roadmap’ revealed in January 2019, and it aims to build the necessary infrastructure for hydrogen bus-based public transport network through early investments. In MOTIE’s term, a small-scale extractor is an on-site hydrogen-producing facility, directly integrated with bus charging stations, extracting hydrogen from LNG. It can produce one ton of hydrogen per day, which can fuel around 40 hydrogen buses.

The tender accepts bids by April 23. Details about the tender can be found at here.

According to the ministry, the infrastructure program might be integrated later with MOTIE’s other R&D project dubbed as ‘Hydrogen Bus Charging Station Demonstration.’

The project’s purpose is to build and operate two types (350atm and 700atm) of hydrogen charging stations to find the optimal configuration for the Korean market, while also localizing related equipment. The government is to contribute KRW 10 billion to the total investment of KRW 19.7 billion for the next four years.

MOTIE explained that the charging stations in Korea are optimally designed for hydrogen passenger cars with 700atm configuration, limiting applications in bus operations. Compared to 700atm configuration, 350atm facilities feature faster charging, higher localization, and lower build cost (75%), according to MOTIE. However, 350atm is not able to provide 100% recharging, thus requiring more optimal configuration in charging stations.

Applications for the R&D project are eligible until April 22. Developers will be selected in May. MOTIE said that in 2023, in which the project ends, the localization ratio of the hydrogen bus charging station will reach up to 80% from the current 30% level.

Korea is planning to add 180 hydrogen buses and 13 bus charging stations in 2020. There will be 40,000 hydrogen buses in operation in Korea by 2040, according to the government’s plan.

Information on both tenders can be obtained at KIAT (Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology) webpage.

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